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  • jdettmann

Baby, It’s Cold Outside


Here, loyal readers, is a post from an iPad! If it works I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. So far I have uploaded a picture, which has been translated by the mysterious Apple fairies into letters and equals signs and all those arrow things we learned in primary school that mean greater than and less than, and which I have not been able to keep straight in my head since. In case you can’t interpret the code, I will describe the photo to you, like people probably had to do on their blogs in the olden days before camera phones: it’s a shot of May Blossom’s little paws encased in her new mittens, resting on her woollen blanket in her lap as she sleeps in her stroller in a coffee house in Denver.

Last night as we set off for a snowy walk I accosted a hipster in the street outside my grandmother’s high-rise apartment building. “You look like you might know where there is a bar near here,” I announced. “There’s a compliment in there somewhere,” added H, apologetically. Sometimes I don’t think he likes it when I bail people up like that. But I was right: the hipster directed us to a little enclave of shops including a cool bar and a coffeehouse. Last night we tried the bar, and passed a pleasant hour listening to 1990s grunge which our totally embarrassing toddler danced to. You don’t dance to Nirvana, man, jeez. Be cool. We drank some beer and accepted compliments on May Blossom’s behalf and declared the outing a success.

This morning we returned to try the Europa coffee house, which sounds much more like 19th-century Vienna than it is. They make good coffee, even by international standards, and provide comfortable couches and free wifi. May Blossom fell asleep on the walk here, from fatigue, I am about eighty percent sure, not from hypothermia. Because it is very bloody cold here. May Blossom is wearing leggings, fleece-lined waterproof pants, wool socks, boots, a long-sleeved shirt, wool jumper, silver puffer jacket, hat, hood, mittens and blanket. I have no sense of whether that is overdressing or underdressing or child abuse, because there are no other babies being wheeled around in strollers in this weather to compare with. I guess that could be a clue.

For all but one night of our trip we are staying in the guest apartment in Gma’s (that’s her rap handle) building. But tonight, our third night, some relative of a resident called Rothman has it booked. We tried calling and pretending to Mr Rothman, and canceling the booking, but the man in charge figured out our cunning ruse, possibly because not ten minutes earlier we had asked him if by any chance the person who had the room booked tonight had cancelled, and if not what was their name please.

I then called the hotel we have stayed in before, an inoffensive chain establishment. The first time I called, a man named Zac very politely asked me to call back in fifteen minutes. He was the only one working and he wasn’t near the computer. I think “not near the computer” was code for “out the back in the snow near the bins smoking a massive joint”, because when I called back twenty minutes later, I found him in full stoned panic mode. There was a fire alarm going off and he was trying to evacuate the guests. It didn’t sound like it was going very well.

Was it just a fire drill? I asked. Probably, he thought. But there might be some water problems on the sixth floor. He told me he didn’t think he could manage my booking for at least a couple of hours. His confusion and panic were matched by his honesty, so instead of deeming this hotel a shambles and no fit place to stay, I took pity on him and booked the room online anyway. Sometimes when you’re at work everything goes to shit. We’ve all been there. I hope I don’t regret this leap of faith tonight when we are flooded and fire alarmed out into the subzero temperatures.

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